SELECTION COMMITTEE OF ART MADRID 2020

As every year, the Selection Committee of Art Madrid is in charge of assessing the applications of the galleries interested in participating in the general program of the fair. The team consists of renowned professionals in the contemporary art sector with a variety of profiles that reflects the diversity of the current cultural fabric. From curators, to critics, to representatives of the galleries, the purpose is to analyse the content of the proposals and select those that offer, for the whole fair, the most innovative, solvent and highest artistic quality in a process that takes into account, not only the career of the galleries and their professional performance, but also the coherence of the exhibition program for the fair, the career of the artists presented, or their consideration into the national and international creative panorama.

Image of Art Madrid'19, by Imanol Villota

The permanent work of Art Madrid has made it possible to improve its exhibition proposal in recent years. As Alfonso de la Torre noted with respect to the previous edition, the fair is characterised "by a notorious rigour of the selection of galleries and proposals (...). Innovative proposals and rigour, without excluding emotion, why not, have proved to be the support of the ideas of a renewed ART MADRID ".

In 2020 Art Madrid once again will count on the always accurate criteria of Ángel Samblancat, Alfonso de la Torre, Carlos Delgado Mayordomo and Javier López. Aurora Vigil-Escalera and Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta join this year the Committee.

 

Aurora Vigil-Escalera is the director of the homonymous gallery located in Gijón and has a very extensive career as a professional initiated within the family, because her father had founded and directed the Van Dyck gallery in which she began her career as a partner in 1984. This permanent connection with contemporary art has led the work of Aurora Vigil-Escalera, focused mainly on painting, sculpture and photography, who not only maintains regular programming in her space of Gijón, but has also focused on projecting work of its artists beyond our borders. This provides her with an exhaustive knowledge of contemporary reality in the global context and an accurate criterion to identify trends and support young talents from the beginning of their career.

 

Fernando Gómez de la Cuesta joins the Art Madrid project as curator of the One Project section, and will also contribute his experience and knowledge in the selection process for 2020. Fernando is an independent curator and critic with a long career. He has developed his professional profile in different contexts linked to contemporary art, both in the institutional field and the art market, and has extensive experience in working with artists. The direction of the PalmaPhoto photography festival, and the curating of CRIdA (residence of artists of the City Council of Palma), the I Festival of Contemporary Art of Saltillo-Mexico, and the MARTE Contemporary Art Fair are among his latest experiences. It also outstands his work as a teacher, speaker and coordinator of several training programs, workshops, conferences and seminars, mainly linked to universities, museums and contemporary art centres.

 

Alfonso de la Torre is a theoretician and art critic, specialising in contemporary Spanish art. He has curated numerous exhibitions, in addition to published essays and poetry and taught courses in centres such as the Reina Sofía Museum, the Teruel Museum, the University of the Andes, the University of Córdoba, the University of Granada, the University of Castilla-La Mancha or the Université de La Sorbonne. In his extensive experience, he has been the author of reasoned catalogues of artists such as Millares, the group "El Paso", Manuel Rivera and Palazuelo. From 2005 he curates an annual program of artistic interventions in the public space ("Ámbito Cultural-El Corte Inglés") during ARCOmadrid, with the collaboration of the regional government and the city hall of Madrid. He has coordinated one of the most complete studies on the birth and evolution of the art market in Spain from the postwar period to the present ("La España del Siglo XXI" (Sistema Foundation). In addition to directing the collection of photographic essays "El ojo que ves"(University of Córdoba-La Fábrica), he is Vice-president of the Pilar Citoler Foundation and responsible for the conservation of her Collection.

 

Carlos Delgado Mayordomo is a curator of contemporary art, as well as a critic and professor. His vertiginous career has developed mainly in the field of institutional curatorship in Spain and Latin America, where he has worked with numerous museums and cultural centres. He is currently art critic at ABC Cultural, professor of the Master in Art Market of the Nebrija University and responsible for exhibitions of the Department of Culture of the City of Las Rozas of Madrid. He has coordinated exhibition projects at the Fundación Fondo Internacional de las Artes / FIArt, the Cidade da Cultura Foundation of Santiago de Compostela, Tabacalera Promoción del Arte, DA2 Salamanca Art Centre and the Tomás y Valiente Art Centre, among many others. Also, his work as a critic and theoretician has led to numerous research articles in specialised journals and publications in collective books. Between 2014 and 2018 he joined as a curator of the One Project section of Art Madrid, and since then he has been part of the Selection Committee of the fair.

 

Ángel Samblancat has an extensive career devoted entirely to contemporary art. Besides his work at the head of the Editorial and Gallery of Art Polígrafa Obra Gráfica of Barcelona for more than forty years, he was also assistant to the director of the Joan Prats Gallery (Barcelona) since its foundation. The experience of Ángel in technical and selection committees is extensive. He was member of the Jury for the Graphic Work Triennial of Grenchen (Switzerland) and was part of the selection committees of international fairs of high prestige such as Art Chicago (Illinois), Art Miami (Florida), Art Los Angeles (California), ARCO (Madrid), Art Cologne (Germany), Art Basel (Switzerland), ArtBo-Bogotá (Colombia) and Art Basel / Miami Beach (Florida). He has also developed as a critic and consultant in large art collections.

 

Javier López Vélez is the director of 3 Punts Art Gallery, based in Barcelona. He is an expert in Technical Drawing of Projects and has studied Sociology. Throughout his career, he has worked as an independent curator in several institutional exhibitions in Barcelona, Hospitalet and Andorra. Under his direction, the gallery maintains a complete program of exhibitions that includes between seven and eight individual shows a year, with a clear evolution towards the new artistic languages. In addition, the Gallery 3 Punts has made a strong commitment to gain international presence and help consolidate the career of national artists beyond our borders through participation in fairs such as Kunstrai Amsterdam, Context Miami, Context Art New York or Art Stage Singapore, among many others, a work to which they have been faithful for more than two decades.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.